We get of business connections who ask us about best practices when it comes to their marketing videos (which isn’t surprising, since video and digital marketing is a big part of what we do).
We’ve also met a lot of industrial manufacturers who cite YouTube as the place to go and find their videos.
But…should YouTube really be the place you’re sending your prospects?
- Everybody’s comfortable with YouTube.
- But…YouTube actually competes against your website.
- Find a hosting platform that champions you.
1. EVERYBODY’S COMFORTABLE WITH YOUTUBE.
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, there’s a slim-to-none chance that you’ve never used YouTube, let alone heard of it. It’s huge. It’s unavoidable. And, for companies who want to share a video on the internet…it’s easy.
Anyone can make multiple YouTube accounts for free; they can upload their videos, customize their appearances, and embed said videos on their own website. The interface is extremely user-friendly.
Not to mention…it’s really hard to resist that bright red, all-too-familiar play button. YouTube has transformed internet videos into what they are today, and bully for them. But there’s a problem.
For businesses trying to attract potential buyers, YouTube might actually be more damaging than helpful.
YouTube is in it for YouTube. They’re great at the “video” thing…they’re not so great at the “marketing” part.
2. YOUTUBE ACTUALLY COMPETES AGAINST YOUR WEBSITE
If you’re a marketer trying to increase web traffic or conversions to your corporate website, YouTube isn’t going to make things better. In fact…kind of the opposite
YouTube has the same goal that you have: to increase web traffic and conversions.
One of the other big problems with YouTube is that it is anything but exclusive. Anyone can post a video that could show up in the “play next” section. Anybody can pay for their ads to run on YouTube – which means your competitors’ videos could actually play before your own does.
If one of your competitors has a sleek video on the same topic as yours, YouTube might group them together on a regular basis. A viewer who loves to watch hamsters eat tiny food may click away from your video if they see a delightful distraction in the sidebar.
You just cannot control where your viewer goes next.
Even embedding a YouTube video on your own website won’t fix the whole problem, either. Distractions will still follow. YouTube ads for other videos will still pop up over your embedded video. Thumbnails for related videos will appear the moment the viewer hits “pause.”
Of course, all of this is moot if your prospects work at a company that blocks social media or other ‘distracting’ sites. They may not be able to access any of your videos– embedded or otherwise– if YouTube isn’t allowed on their devices. Ugh.
3. FIND A HOSTING PLATFORM THAT CHAMPIONS YOU.
As always, you as a marketer cannot gauge the success or failure of your digital assets without those all-important analytics. And the view counter on YouTube leaves…something to be desired.
Who’s watching your video, and for how long? Is it a buyer on the brink? Is it your proud grandmother sharing her grandchild’s work with all her friends? A college kid doing research for a paper? Hopefully it’s not somebody who had “autoplay” on and then fell asleep, and yours is #43 in the random stream of videos that pop up next.
There’s no way to tell; not if YouTube is your primary hosting platform.
And, since YouTube belongs to Google, Google loves to give YouTube videos great SEO rankings. However, those rankings don’t translate over to your website, even if the video is embedded there.
That’s right: if you embed a video on your website, YouTube gets all the attention from search engines, instead of you.
So what can you do to fix this? Some people try uploading their video files directly to their own website. The only problem is, those files and their media players can eat up a lot of storage space and slow down your site dramatically.
If you get half a chance, try looking into higher-quality hosting platforms like Wistia, Vidyard, or even just Vimeo.
Platforms like these will give you a lot more control over the path your viewers take – and in many cases, their analytics are far more detailed. Some can even synchronize with automation platforms like Hubspot to identify individual viewers by name!
Best of all, when you embed Wistia or Vidyard videos on your website, guess who gets the SEO credit? You do, that’s who.
If you plan to increase video usage in the future, look into making a change.
Just because we know about the cons of YouTube doesn’t mean we avoid it completely. In fact, every episode of our show gets posted there on a weekly basis! But our traffic there is pretty minimal, because those aren’t the videos that we promote.
If you’re marketing an industrial company, embedding videos on your own website through a more sophisticated hosting platform is going to help build your SEO over time.
Just make sure that, in the meantime, you know who’s getting the attention. It could be you…or it could be YouTube.
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